What Price for Peace with Iran?

(American Interest) Walter Russell Mead - The U.S. attempt to reconcile moderate Arab opinion by withdrawing from Iraq, pressing Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians and aligning the Americans with moderate Islamist forces like the AK party government in Turkey and the Morsi government in Egypt was well intentioned but unrealistic. The prospect of a "grand bargain" with Iran - an arrangement that would stop the nuclear drive, integrate Iran into some kind of regional system and end the chronic instability and crisis that has dogged America's regional policy since the old alliance with Iran collapsed in 1979 - is irresistibly attractive in theory; it is hard to reach in practice. While economic sanctions have taken a serious toll, the regional picture is looking bright from Tehran's point of view. The U.S. will soon be leaving Afghanistan, it has given up any hope of influencing Iraq, and Assad is still holding out in Syria. Whatever outcome Iran's Supreme Leader seeks, he is not looking for a "win-win" deal with the U.S. He does not believe that our core interests are aligned. He wants his power to grow and ours to diminish. The Israelis worry most of all that the U.S. will accept a nuclear agreement that leaves Iran closer to a bomb than the Israelis would like to see. The Israelis also worry about the rise of Iranian power in their neighborhood, especially as it involves Hizbullah's access to arms and support.

2013-10-28 00:00:00

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